Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Writing Byte #9: Ruminations on the Clichés of Life

Apologies for the lack of posts. I blame a long sinus infection, strained muscles in my back, and the fact that the doctor put my hurt foot in a boot. You know: all those happy cheerful times in summer...

Anyway, here you go!

A cliché is not authentic. It is not original or creative or often even helpful. Many talk in clichés to say things they do not really mean.
But a cliché is not a lie simply because it is cliché.

It does not pretend to be original; that is not the point.
Its purpose is not to open the eyes of mankind to truths never found before.
But still, that doesn’t make it a lie.

In conversation, it can be used thoughtlessly, without feeling.
It can be more of a comfort to the speaker than to the listener.
But a cliché doesn’t pretend to be anything but what it is: a common, overused phrase or saying.
But all this doesn’t make it a lie.

A cliché is said too much because when it was first introduced, it meant something to those who heard it.
Perhaps the original meaning never reached its audience, but still, the words themselves brought connection.
People listened, and heard, and felt, and responded.
And in return introduced it to common language.

Whatever meaning the words took on in the end, that connection to the people who heard it “stood the test of time.” People continue to use clichés.

Clichés are not original, or even authentic.
But if we stop to consider them, we may be surprised by just how true a cliché may be.